Veterans throughout the State of Ohio have generally always been willing to be open to the idea of giving back to their local communities.
Few are willing to accept credit, even when they may have continually gone above and beyond which is where Dave Dilly falls into the mix.
Dilly joined the United States Air Force following his graduation from Warsaw High School and soon found himself serving in Vietnam.
After his discharge he became immersed in helping his fellow veterans, co-workers and community and his efforts have not gone unnoticed, as he will become Coshocton County’s newest inductee into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.
On Nov. 9 the Fresno resident and Vietnam Veteran will be one of 20 Ohio veterans inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
Having worked most of his life in the coal mines of Southeastern Ohio, he is the third Coshocton Countian to have earned such high recognition and will be among
20 outstanding inductees to be honored for their accomplishments and achievements at the 25th Anniversary Induction Ceremony.
The Class of 2017 was chosen from among 103 nominations. This year’s class joins 834 Ohio veterans who have been inducted since 1992 and represent all eras, branches and walks of life.
He follows in the footsteps of 2009 inductee Lewis "Ed" Baker, best known for his chain of IGA stores in the region that bear his name, and Sergeant James M. Elision, an American soldier who fought in the Civil War and earned the Medal of Honor.
When interviewed by the Coshocton County Beacon, Dilly was caught by surprise when the director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, Chip Tansill, called to inform him of his selection.
"I was like, ‘wow what’s going on,’" Dilly told reporter Josie Sellers. "At first it was kind of awkward then I thought this is awesome. I nominated (Lewis) Baker for this honor so I knew what the process was and knew people over there so just to be mentioned in this group of people is pretty awesome."
"I don’t really consider myself anything special, but I got to thinking this isn’t about me as much as it is about the county I live in and how supportive people here are of veterans and veterans’ issue," Dilly told Sellers during their interview. "This is more of a reflection of our community rather than me."
Among Dilly’s efforts and contributions, many things were considered, including:
Since 2012, he has accompanied 52 veterans and 18 guardians on Honor Flights.
He served in the U.S. Air Force in the Vietnam War and was a weapons mechanic and loaded bombs, napalm, rockets and guns.
From 2000 to 2006, he assisted veterans by serving as the Coshocton County Veterans Service Officer. During his time in that position he, along with Harold Howell and Bill Timmons spearheaded the county’s KIA Bridge project during which 96 bridges were named for fallen veterans of the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War eras. He continues to encourage veterans to seek benefits through the VA.
By serving on Coshocton’s Honor Guard, which performs military funerals for veterans. As of mid-October, he has attended 706 veterans’ services.
Served as the Coshocton County Recorder from 2006 through December 31st, 2012.
Has served on the Coshocton County Veterans Commission since 2013, representing the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Was Commander of the local DAV Chapter during which he was instrumental in raising funds for a new van used for transporting County veterans to and from their VA medical appointments.
Has traveled to St. Louis, MO and Washington D.C. to lobby and rally for the protection of United Mine Workers and their dependents’ healthcare and pension plans.
Has twice joined a group of Vietnam Veterans/Mine Workers to wash down the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C.
Spent many years coaching youth baseball and basketball. On one occasion, he resuscitated a young boy after a batted ball struck him in the chest
Elision received the Medal of Honor for bravery during combat for his action during the Battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi on May 22, 1863 during which he carried the colors in advance of his regiment. However, he was shot down while attempting to plant them on the enemy's works. He was honored with the award in 1891.
Baker took adversity from being held captive by the Germans in World War II for 20 months and used it as a motivational tool to help his fellow veterans and Americans.
After leaving the service, he purchased a grocery store and grew that small business into four stores and also became the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Associated Grocers.
He also served as the treasurer for the ex-POW Wooster Chapter and has been an advocate for countless POWs and widows. His efforts have helped numerous veterans receive their benefits.
Baker also wrote a book on his World War II experiences, titled "My War."
He passed away in September 2015 at the age of 95.
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 by former Gov. George Voinovich to recognize the post-military achievements of outstanding Ohio veterans.
Charter members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 1992 included the six Ohio veterans who were elected President of the United States as well as Medal of Honor recipients from Ohio. Honorees of the past 24 years include astronauts, community volunteers, community leaders, safety officers, veteran advocates and former government officials.
Vane S. Scott Jr. of Newcomerstown, a United States Navy Veteran during World War II, community leader and founder and co-owner of the Colonial Flag Company of Coshocton, a division of Annin & Company.
Noted speaker, entertainer, and researcher related to Americanism, patriotism and the United States flag
Wrote, produced and performed nationwide the show, "Many Faces of Old Glory" for presentation to organizations, conventions, schools and the public
Founder and co-owner of Colonial Flag Company of Coshocton, Ohio, a Division of Annin & Company, manufacturing specialty flags for many major events including World Olympics and Super Bowls and the world's largest producer of U.S. flags
Helped organize and performed in major productions in local area to raise funds for community projects
Life member of many veterans and fraternal organizations
Founder, National President and Editor of USS Radford DD/DDE 446 Association and the USS Radford National Naval Museum in Newcomerstown, Ohio
James "Denny" Ross of Newcomerstown (Tuscarawas County), a United States Army Veteran ?who served in the Vietnam War.
Mr. Ross is a life member and three-year past commander of VFW Post #3303, a life member and three-year past commander of American Legion Post #431, a life member and nine-year president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 532, a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and a 15-year member and current commander, for eight years, of the Newcomerstown Honor and Color Guard. Denny, as he is known, was the first recipient of the Kelly Ault Memorial Patriotism Award for Veteran of the Year